The internet has become one of the best ways to get your message out there and connect with customers and clients all over the world. If you own a business that doesn't have a strong online presence then you're missing out on a lot of opportunities to gain new customers and grow your market share. When it comes to having a successful online business, hiring the right SEO company is one of the most important decisions you'll make, and there are a few tips that can help you along the way.

1. Proven Results
One of the most effective ways to determine if your SEO company is trustworthy is to check out their client testimonials. You can learn a lot about how their business practices by what people have said in their own words via sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. A reliable one will make the process easier for you, as showcased by an SEO Sydney company, by pointing you to the reviews and testimonials themselves. Since this is a part of their own online marketing strategy, they're likely to share it with you. Generally speaking, a successful SEO company will be very forthcoming with its previous work. Apart from the already mentioned reviews and testimonials, they might also have case studies and even some awards up on their website, since they have no reason to be shy about it. If a company you're thinking of hiring doesn't have those things on their business website, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're not a good choice, but you should be more cautious and do more research about them before making your decision.

2. Expertise
Keywords are important for SEO, there's no denying that. However, there's much more to it than that. From local SEO, backlinks, meta tags, and descriptions, your SEO company should ideally have a lot of knowledge in every aspect of search engine optimization.  For example, helping you come up with a great content concept for your site is just as important as how it's formatted. After all, if you have no strategic plan on the content that you produce, then little of what you do will matter since search engines can't read your site if there are no words on it! A good SEO company should have more than just a list of keywords to offer their clients. While you can't expect them to write out the entire plan for you - as this is outside of their scope of responsibilities - they should help you fine-tune the concept you already have in order to make it SEO-friendly and effective.

3. Integral Approach
A lot of companies out there offer SEO services, and while they can help you improve your search engine ranking if done right, they will not necessarily take the steps to make sure that it's a lasting improvement. You need to look for an SEO company that can ensure top rankings not just short-term, but long-term as well. The way you manage your social media profiles will be affected by your online presence, and vice versa. A good SEO company will work on a plan that encompasses all of your business's online presence, making it cohesive. This way you can maximize your exposure to potential new customers, while at the same time nurturing your existing ones with improved service that's more personalized in nature.

4. Personalized Plan
Similarly, a good SEO strategy cannot be a one hat fits all solution. While there are some SEO basics that need to be covered no matter what niche you're in, and what your brand image is like, you need more than that to be truly successful. When it comes to something as important as your company's presence on the internet, you need more than just a list of keywords and generic suggestions. It has to be fine-tuned to suit your particular business so you can produce content that is relevant to what people are looking for - because after all, an effective SEO strategy must enhance your web presence and improve your overall online visibility. A good SEO company will be able to provide a personalized plan, one that has been tailored specifically for you - be it a small business with limited resources or a large corporation that has many products/brands within its portfolio.

5. Rate
You can't expect to find a good SEO company for cheap exactly, but it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg either. The cost of service will depend on a lot of things - such as the SEO rate, manpower involved, and the number of hours it will take. You need to consider your marketing budget, and once you know how much you'd be comfortable spending, look at the average rates that different companies offer and then hire them based on that. While it can be tempting to go for a less expensive option, you need to keep other factors in mind in order to determine if they'd have the knowledge and manpower needed to handle your job successfully. On the other hand, if a company you're considering is asking for far more than the average price for their services, you should be able to easily see why that is. Are they the best at what they do? Do they have the skills to back up their claims? Are they offering you something that other companies don't? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it's up to you and your budget, but if it's not, then it might be better to look elsewhere.

6. Communication
Because SEO is complex, and there's a lot of techy know-how that goes into it, it can be sometimes hard to follow along when it comes down to the steps your business should take to get the optimal results. However, instead of just telling you to do things a certain way, a reliable SEO company will be able to explain to you why they suggest a certain strategy. Clear communication is key when it comes to anything, but especially so in the case of an SEO company. Not to mention, when someone is an expert on a certain topic, they have no trouble explaining things to anyone, regardless of the other person's skill levels on the matter. If, on the other hand, the person isn't really as good as they claim to be, they'll fumble when the time comes to explain something to you, or they might even refuse to do so. In that case, it's best to look elsewhere because an SEO company shouldn't be hiding behind a wall of secrecy - quite the opposite, in fact, they should be more than happy to explain themselves and their plans for your brand.

An SEO company should be willing to go the extra mile to give you what you want and be able to adapt its strategies to suit your changing demands. They should also communicate with you well, and make clear what you need to do in order for SEO strategies and plans they develop for your brand to be successful.